Celebrating Pam Buckley

After spending 21 years with Ronald McDonald House Charities, Pam Buckley, Community Relations Director, has announced her retirement.  Last night, staff, volunteers, friends, and family came together to celebrate and honor Pam for all the great work she has done.  I caught up with Pam to reflect on her time at RMHC.

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Hand in Hand

Dear Bridget and the entire RMHC Staff,

Our family has been blessed by your devotion to providing comfort and “class” to our crisis.

We came hoping for a bed and a shower and are leaving having been showered with so much more: dignity, smiles, care, concern, warmth, love, “spoiling,” peace, and rest.

The hand in hand symbol in the logo for the House epitomizes perfectly the gentle and affirming hand holding we experienced from February 28-May 11, 2015 and again May 27-June 6, 2015 (99 nights).  Your donors should know that their gifts equal hands being held.

Our three boys celebrated birthdays in a warm environment of support.  Art, music, and dog therapy nurtured ALL of us. Our daughter Erin’s 18thbirthday spent downtown with her dad was a thrilling night that will be remembered forever.  She is most grateful.

Blessings on each of you.  Owen was born 5 weeks early with Down Syndrome, cortication of the aorta, complete AUSD, G-tube, bowel perforation, and bowel obstruction.  We carry home a strong little miracle made sweeter by your love.

Christine and Joe Geniesse | House Guest

Hannah, Joey, Erin, Marty, Ben, Bridget, Patrick, Sam, Mary Claire and Owen

The Geniesse Family from Oshkosh, Wisconsin stayed at the House for 99 days while their son underwent multiple medical procedures.

Nordstrom Mayfair Opening Gala

Save the Date for the Nordstrom Mayfair Opening Gala!

We are so excited to have a new neighbor moving to town! And we are honored to have been chosen as one of three charity partners for the upcoming Nordstrom Mayfair Gala! Please join us October 21, 2015 from 6:00 to 11:00pm for what promises to be a memorable evening as we celebrate the opening of Nordstrom Mayfair and the three charity partners that will benefit from the proceeds of the ticket sales!

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Thankful for the House!

Early morning on Saturday, June 16, 2012, my four-day-old nephew had to be flown to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee after finding out he had an undetected heart defect and would be needing emergency heart surgery. My sister and her husband tried not to think of the financial burdens they might endure as they had to do what was best for their son. Thankfully, the social worker sought them out after just a few hours and helped them get on the Ronald McDonald House waiting list for a room. We heard wonderful things about the Ronald McDonald House and were excited about the opportunity for them to stay there while their son was hospitalized. It took a few days, but on Wednesday they received a call from Tiffany saying she had a room available; my dad and brother-in-law “moved” them in right away. They ended up staying a total of nine nights – a huge reliever financially.  It would have cost ten times more to stay in a hotel that long. The rooms were very “homey” feeling and the House in general had a great atmosphere.

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Grandma’s Love for RMHC

I’m a grandma.  As I watch my grandchildren sleep, I can’t thank all the kind people enough who keep the Ronald McDonald House running and providing our family with a place close to our sick child. We live two and a half hours north and staying at the House has eased so many burdens. Being able to feed the children and having some sense of normalcy has helped greatly. This has lightened the load for the children who can now take their minds off long five hour roundtrips to see Mom and Dad in Milwaukee.  Now, Mom and Dad are only five minutes away. RMHC has truly helped our family stay together. Mom and Dad are relieved knowing their children are with Grandma. This House has blessed our family in so many ways and is so much more than I could have ever expected. I was very grateful and was very humbled when we had one of our first meals here. I was brought to tears and couldn’t stop as volunteers put food on our plates. What a blessing! The cost of eating at Children’s Hospital and packing a cooler from home was out of control. My daughter is pregnant with her fourth child. Child number three is going to be at Children’s for at least a month. She will be having baby number four here. I now know things will be ok if we are all together. This old grandma can finally sleep peacefully tonight.  Everybody is together and safe with full bellies!

Thank you all! Much love is sent to all of you who make this possible!

Gina Phillips | House Guest

Gina Phillips stayed at the House with her grandchildren while her grandson underwent a liver transplant and chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital.

Take a tour of the newly renovated House here!

northwestern Mutual Healthy Eating Ronald McDonald

RMHC partners with Northwestern Mutual

Nothing feels better than sharing a family meal with dear friends. Recently, we welcomed members of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation team to the House to celebrate the power of healthy food and a wonderful partnership.

For two years, Northwestern Mutual has sponsored a Healthy Food Program at the House. The goal of this program was to provide opportunities for our families to have healthy food options readily accessible in the form of fresh fruit, well balanced lunches to go and to sponsor Kids Can Cook classes for our families to learn more about healthy food choices and the links between food and improved health. Since the beginning of the program 1,775 families have had access to fresh fruit daily and the Kids Can Cook classes have provided hands on opportunities for our young guests to learn about the benefits of healthy food in a fun way… The numbers are staggering, 6,000 healthy lunches have been made for our families with the help of 700 community volunteers.

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Family Children Charity Garden Spring

Lettuce Smile, spring planting in the Secret Garden

It is a beautiful day in the Secret Garden and we are continuing to plant cool season vegetables! Weatherman, Scott Steele, says our average frost date is April 27. Good rain, warmer temperatures and appropriate soil conditions inspired us to begin planting on April 15, so that crops could germinate in cool temperatures. We hope our efforts will encourage you to plant also! Read more

Thrivent Financial Gives Back

I have always known that I work for a great company, Thrivent Financial, that focuses on giving back, and whom over the years has provided me with so many opportunities – both professional and personal – to do that, but it took a personal situation for me to truly comprehend what it means to work for Thrivent Financial, an organization that empowers us to impact causes that are so near and dear to our hearts! Read more

A little compliment can go a long way!

Sometimes we all need a pick me up, and they usually aren’t that hard to find. It could be a smile from a stranger, a hug from a friend, or kind words from family. Small actions can make a big difference in anyone’s day, and rarely go unnoticed. A few years ago I was shown a very simple, but heartfelt way to make a difference in someone’s day, without having to say a single word: origami stars.  I was taught how to make these happy little stars, and if you open them up, you will be given a note of encouragement, love, or inspiration. Life can get hectic sometimes, but it is important to take a minute for yourself, think about your life, and just enjoy the moment.

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Lovin’ #forRMHC

Each year, McDonald’s hosts a fundraising campaign (formerly known as Give a Hand) that raises more than $50,000 for the House through customer donations. From May 1 through May 10, customers will have the opportunity to once again show their support during, Lovin’ #forRMHC fundraising campaign.

You can show your support for our Chapter and the families we serve by visiting a participating McDonald’s restaurant and purchasing $1, $3 or $5 Heart. You’ll be playing an important role in helping to strengthen families with critically-ill children right in your community.  All proceeds from heart purchases will go directly to support RMHC!